As a landlord, I can understand how it’s sometimes attractive to think that you can manage the property yourself.
Often we’re engaged by landlords who’ve gone down the DIY path only to realise that it’s not as easy, or hand’s-off as they’ve originally thought.
Here are the four biggest mistakes that we’ve seen landlords make when they are renting and managing an investment property themselves without the assistance of a specialist property manager.
The first mistake they make is they don’t price the property correctly.
Property managers have access to several different databases that contain rental history of properties in the local area. Plus, they also manage their own portfolios, so they have a look at rental returns on various properties day in and day out, whereas a landlord typically doesn’t have access to the breadth of information that a property manager has.
The second mistake we see landlords make is that they don’t know how to or are unable to market a rental property effectively. Gone are the days of a 3 line, highly abbreviated advertisement in the classifies of your local newspaper.
Today, marketing is mostly done online with high quality photography and well crafted copy. Of course, there’s still also print advertising, however, the portal advertising is very, very strong these days, and landlords typically don’t have access to online portals to advertise their rental properties.
Property Managers know the tenant target market and tend to have experience in writing copy directed to that demographic, and with photographers on hand, they are able to prepare marketing collateral that promotes the property in the best light possible. Typically a landlord doing it themselves doesn’t have access to those sorts of resources.
Insufficient (or non-existent) Tenant Screening
Often, the DIY Landlord will show their vacant property to a potential tenant, have a brief conversation with that prospect and then walk away with a gut feeling of Yes or No. That’s just a recipe for disaster.
Agents obviously have access to various databases. The Rental Specialists, for example, is a member of four different databases that we use for every single tenancy check. Landlords don’t have access to those databases, and as far as we’re aware, they’re not made available to landlords to use.
Thorough, detailed, tenancy screening is a must, and often not even done at all.
Not Maintaining a Business Relationship
The fourth mistake, and the biggest in my opinion, that a landlord makes when dealing with a property on their own is that they become friendly with the tenants.
This has the potential to lead to a lack of detail in the landlord’s paperwork. They become friendly with the tenant, and then eventually, it becomes a he said she said game because nothing’s documented in writing, and it can become very, very problematic.
Have an excellent relationship with your tenants, yes, but keep it professional. Keep everything documented, keep good detailed notes, and keep communications with your tenant in writing.
We hope you’re not making any of these mistakes.
We eliminate the stress, headache and complexity of being a landlord, owning investment property and renting it out.
It’s property management, but it’s about more than just managing properties. It’s property management excellence.
If you’d like a free, no-obligation rental health check on your property please call our office on 1300 028 038 or contact us by email at [email protected]
Our specialist property management services are available across the whole Sydney metropolitan area.